What Has the Patriot Act Been Used For?

From NYMagazine:

The Patriot Act was mostly a Republican project at its origin, but it would have died long ago without the support of Democrats. Liberals were committed enough to the bill that it took Texas Republican Dick Armey to insist that the new privileges of the Patriot Act would indeed sunset, unless the president asked for, and Congress approved, a reauthorization. In 2005, George W. Bush convinced Congress to renew the act, and in 2010, so did Barack Obama—even though the terrorist threat seemed less urgent, and liberal scholars had concluded that the civil-liberties violations in the bill could be resolved with a few modest changes. Dinh’s original worry—that politicians might not be committed enough to renew these laws—now seems misplaced.



    1. Hahaha. That would be awesome. I’d ride my flying pig to work every day.

      In Seattle, voters approved a measure that made marijuana laws officially the lowest priority for the Seattle Police Department. In theory, that means that the SPD should only be arresting people for possession if there is absolutely nothing else they could be doing. Marijuana arrests have gone up since then. Fortunately, the city attorney has refused to prosecute any of the cases, but the paperwork keeps flooding his desk.

  1. Actually, given the rates of criminal investigations in those three areas I bet that still represents a surprisingly high bias rate in favour of using the Act for policing terrorism (though I do realize that’s not the point).

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